Since they introduced the Gameboy, Nintendo has been the biggest name in handheld games.
Everyone's talking about their current system, the Nintendo Switch. However, before the Switch, we had the 3DS.
The 3DS had some great games; here's our list of 27 favorites.
The 27 Best 3DS Games of All Time
Mario and Co.
Mario and his gang of friends have been a mainstay of Nintendo since their first console.
The 3DS featured several Mario and Co. games that delighted fans everywhere.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
This game focuses on money so much that the fact that Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach is considered more of a side issue. This side scroller gives players the enjoyable challenge of making it rain money everywhere they go.
Super Smash Bros.
This 3DS version is not as comprehensive as the Wii version, but portability is a definite bonus.
Mario Kart 7
The game also features new tracks and weapons for added mayhem. Mario Kart 7 takes everything gamers loved about the Mario Kart series, from gliders to underwater adaptions.
Super Mario 3D Land
The 3D landscape offers players a new challenge without needing special equipment.
“I ain't afraid of ghosts; who are you gonna call?” Luigi, am I right?
Luigi's Mansion is a great precursor to the wildly popular Luigi's Mansion 3, which came out in October 2019. The game broke Luigi's character out of his traditional role.
It is refreshing to see a game in the Mario franchise where Luigi is the main character.
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
This game is the follow-up to the original Luigi's Mansion, and it raises what was already a high bar.
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon allows gamers to explore multiple mansions.
This 3D side scroller is easy as fun as any game in the Luigi's Mansion franchise.
Mario Party Star Rush
Before Mario Party made a name for itself with Switch interactive play, there was the 3DS version.
This version was the first to move away from turn-based gameplay and allow players to act simultaneously.
Mario Party Top 100
Mario Party gets one-upped in Mario Party Top 100. This version allowed four players to connect and co-op with a single game card, which was revolutionary.
This game is all the crazy fun of a Mario Party paired with the top 100 mini-games of the Mario Party series.
Zelda and Link
Zelda and Link are an iconic duo. Everyone loves them, and the 3DS gave us some fantastic additions to a ‘timeless' franchise (yes, that was a shamelessly horrible reference to the Ocarina of Time).
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
3D graphics, without special equipment, helps elevate this already dynamic action-adventure game.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
The cool thing about The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is the variety of masks players can use. Each one gives its wearer special powers, making Majora's Mask one of the unique Legend of Zelda games ever.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a charming show of 3DS graphics. This game is set in a painted world and gives an all-new look at Hyrule. This game is an entirely new look at Zelda's combat.
The combat is fast-paced and highly adaptive. Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds breaks the mold of previous games from this series.
Legend of Zelda: Tri-force Heroes
This game is another unique take on traditional Legend of Zelda titles. It encourages players to work together and think outside the box to achieve their goals.
Who doesn't love Pokémon? No one that I want to know.
Pokémon is so cool, and the games are always so much fun. Pika, pika!
The game, like the movie, follows the journey of Tim Goodman, who is searching for his father in Ryme City. While searching for his father, Tim joins forces with “the great detective” Pikachu.
This game is fun and offers over 100 cut scenes of sassy Pikachu (kawaii).
Pokémon X and Y
Continue the journey of becoming a master Pokémon trainer in Pokémon X and Y as players explore Lumiose City. These two continuations of the main Pokémon story are a great edition of the main storyline.
Pokémon X and Y also allow for Pokémon-Amie, which will enable players to develop a stronger connection with their Pokémon by petting, feeding, and to play with their Pokémon.
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
The Hoenn region is gorgeous, and this game provides hours of fun and exploration. Master the Pokémon of the Hoenn region.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Technically, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are the updated versions of two different games. However, the games are mostly sister updates of the main Pokémon series.
One thing is for sure, saving the Alola region has never looked so good. These amped-up updates also feature new content, such as new Pokémon, new quests, and new parts of the Alola region for players to master.
Some games are instant classics. They capture the hearts of everyone who plays them.
They are the foundations of franchises and the inspiration for movies.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf-welcome Aiimbos
Didn't know that was a fantasy you had?
Well, Nintendo did! Animal Crossing: New Leaf features the charming mischief that we've come to expect from this delightful franchise.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf-Welcome Aiimbos is all the fun of Animal Crossing, but with, you guessed it, Aiimbos.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
With stunning graphics and action-packed combat, Kid Icarus: Uprising captures the hearts of all who play it.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Solve the mysteries of the ancient civilization of Azran by working your way through various puzzles.
This game also gives players an additional year's worth of daily puzzles, just in case you were worried about not having enough.
Professor Layton vs. Pheonix Wright
Players get to solve puzzles, check out mysteries with Professor Layton, and then carry the action to the courtroom with Pheonix Wright. It is the iconic duo fans didn't see coming.
Monster Hunter Generations
These massive calamity bringers are called the Fated Four and require full use of the aerial combat that is the hallmark of this game. Master the hunter arts and battle
Monster Hunter Stories
Players get to ride monsters, collect eggs, and create new monsters to ride into battle. This turn-based battle game breathes new life into the genre and is the first of its kind.
It's clear to see why fans of all ages love this game.
Fire Emblem Warriors
Gamers can also unlock new warriors and combination attacks as they progress.
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
This game is adorable, and the graphics are eye candy. Kirby can change forms and even do magic in addition to his classic abilities. You’ve never seen Kirby like this.
Qbby is back and better than ever! Our favorite box returns in this minimalist puzzler; this time, he's twice as boxy. Gamers get to play Qbby and his double as they work to solve 11 different puzzle worlds.
With new suits, comics, and music, BoxBoxBoy will remain a classic.
Etrian Odyssey Nexus
Etrian Odyssey Nexus is an action RPG. This game allows players to form a character from 19 different classes.
Players are encouraged to form parties and raid dungeons as they explore the world of Lemuria.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
With over 200 songs from across the series, fans will love this ode to an iconic franchise.
Metroid: Samus Returns
This remake provides players with a new 3D take on a well-loved side-scrolling space adventure.
With two new Aiimbos, lore about Planet SR388's origins, and new combat modes, Metroid: Samus Returns.
The Bottom Line
The 3DS and 2DS is still great system with a lot to offer. Hopefully, our list reminds those of you with a 3DS why you like yours so much. If you dodon'tave a 3DS and yoyou'reooking for an older system to try out, then a 3DS and this list is an excellent place to start.
Like our list, or have a favorite 3DS game not on our list? Leave us a comment and let us know.
I'm a polymath, writer, and an all-around nerd. If it involves gaming, anime/manga, or comics I probably have an opinion on it. I have written pieces for The Nerd Stash and The Digital Spy. I love spending time with my dog, Jester, and playing a Simic Hybrid Wood Elf in D&D.